I am going to be the first to tell you not to believe much of what you read in the newspapers. The media has an agenda.
If you don’t think that, you have an agenda. While the media has been plotting Frank McCourt’s demise for over a year, I have told you otherwise. Oh, most of you didn’t like it, but I don’t write it for you to like. It wrote it because I thought it would be true. So far, it is true. The Dodgers are spending more money than last year. The organization is prospering and another wave of prospects are about to hit.
But, what about “THE DIVORCE?” By design, I don’t discuss it much because this is a baseball blog, not a soap opera, but you just can’t ignore it and hope it will go away. This I think I know:
- It appears that Jamie and Frank have reached an agreement in the divorce settlement (I’m guessing that it is a typical Frank Deal – $25 mil a year for 20 years – maybe some upfront money – just a guess);
- It also appears that FOX and McCourt have reached an agreement (the media says $3 Billion/20 years – which sounds just about right); and
- All that needs to happen is for Bug Selig to approve it or nix it.
Sounds simple. It’s not! Some say Bug should nix the deal and boot McCourt. It’s just not that easy. It was easy to turn down a loan request from McCourt under the grounds that it would pile too much debt on the team. I get that – that’s a no-brainer. But, if FOX tears up the old deal and they agree on a new deal, how can Bug reject it?
- If it is $150 million per year, that is certainly very generous;
- If it is for 20 years, Bug has already set the precedent in allowing a similar contract with term with the Texas Rangers;
- If it is for $3 Billion the stakes are high; and
- The doctrine of Stare decisis will probably apply.
Stare decisis is a legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions. The words originate from the phrasing of the principle in the Latin maxim Stare decisis et non quieta movere: “to stand by decisions and not disturb the undisturbed.” In a legal context, this is understood to mean that courts should generally abide by precedents and not disturb settled matters. This doctrine requires a Court to follow rules established by a superior court. Now, Bud is not a judge – he’s more like a stupid dictator – but if he rules against Frank, the doctorine of Stare decisis will most certainly be asserted by Frank’s legal team.
Bug has set the precedent. If he rules against Frank, World War III will break out. Every owner’s books will be fair game. Every facet of the commissioners’ office and MLB will be scrutinized. Congress, who is none too happy with MLB for their mishandling of the Steriod Fiasco under Bug Selig might just be very willing to intervene. It could get really ugly. I’m betting that Bug will not let that happen. He will approve the deal (although I think he’s stupid enough to disapprove it, he probably has some smarter lawyers who will talk him out of it).
The end result? If it gets approved soon, the Dodgers will be players for a big bat or two, as soon as June or July. I can see some big deals on the horizon, because love or hate Frank McCourt, he will put butts in seats and to do that, he has to improve the team.
Today’s game? It’s still early… Don’t panic!